AFL Recipient of Four Patents for New Technologies

Spartanburg, SC – Nine AFL associates were recognized for receiving patent awards with their work developing new products and technologies.

Brian Herbst, business development director, specialty cables, received a patent for a downhole hybrid cable using both fiber and copper elements. Traditionally, downhole cables had either fiber or copper, but not both. The optical fiber is used for a variety of sensing applications, while the insulated copper is used for more traditional temperature and pressure point sensing. This new design will help improve the adoption of optical fiber in the industry by providing the advanced optical fiber with the limited copper-based sensing capability.

Wenxin Zheng, engineering manager, fusion splicing division, received a patent for a method to splice a bend-optimized optical fiber. The patented method works for many different types of photonic crystal fibers developed in recent years. In addition, the method can be used with AFL factory splicers including the FSM-100 family and LazerMaster™.

Bryan Malinsky, applications engineer, Doug Duke, senior applications engineer, Toshiki Kobu, specialty splicer marketing manager, Yoshiharu Kanda, mechanical engineer, and Wenxin Zheng received a patent for automatic alignment for splicing non-circular fibers. The technology is a custom alignment and splicing process developed for an optical fiber that is D-shaped. By using custom-designed software and power meter feedback, alignment and splicing two D-shaped fiber is achieved while maintaining the polarization state.

Ted Lichoulas, R&D engineering manager, and Eddie Kimbrell, senior designer, received a patent for a universal mounting bracket for AFL’s xDSL product line. Designed to hold AFL’s xDSL single line module and AFL’s Balun for cable routing, the bracket is engineered to be installed in K-footprint and S-footprint NIDs which are commonly deployed throughout the United States.

For more information about AFL and its products and services, visit

About AFL
AFL provides industry-leading products and services to the electric utility, broadband, communications, OEM, enterprise, wireless and transit rail markets as well as the emerging markets of oil and gas, mining, nuclear, avionics, medical, renewable and intelligent grid. The company’s diverse product portfolio includes fiber optic cable, transmission and substation accessories, outside plant equipment, connectors, fusion splicers, test equipment and training. AFL’s service portfolio includes market-leading positions with the foremost communications companies supporting inside plant central office, EF&I, outside plant, enterprise and wireless areas.
Founded in 1984, AFL is proud to offer engineering expertise, exceptional products and reliable service that help our customers improve their critical and electrical infrastructure. AFL has operations in the U.S., Mexico, Europe, Asia and the South Pacific. The company is headquartered in Spartanburg, SC, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujikura Ltd. of Japan. For more information, visit

Corie Culp
Public Relations Manager